Photo credit: praveenfbi / Foter / CC BYFor the past several weeks I’ve been researching beaches in the UK for work (yes, it’s a hard life, I know). Now, considering how many times I’ve surfed the UK’s waves and wandered around its coast, I fancied myself as a bit of a know-it-all when it came to Britain’s beaches. In fact, I had assumed that a day at the beach in the UK went hand-in-hand with pebbles lodged in shoes, chilly winds and permanent grey skies.
How wrong I was. Well, just mostly wrong – there are still quite a few pebbly beaches, and the wind still bites through layers on the coast. Nestled between the beaches of Newquay and St Ives are secret little beaches nestled away from the main tourist areas that look like they should be located miles away from the UK.
Clean blue waters, mountain landscapes, sandy shores AND big blue skies all in one place? Yes, such a place does exist, on Renvyle Beach. Located on the eastern coast of Ireland near Tully Beg, there is only one small caravan park that is open seasonally.
This one might be stretching the term ‘secret’ to ‘secret outside of Ireland’, but with scenery this good everyone should know about this beach. An accredited Blue Flag beach, the water is clean and it boasts a long stretch of light sandy shore. What makes Ballinskelligs Beach all the more picturesque however, is the remains of the McCarthy Mr Tower, from the 16th century, perched on a isthmus just off the beach. Release your inner adventurer and head there at low tide for a quick peek!
With the ever-popular Newquay and its Fistral Beach neighbouring this beach, Perranporth is visited by fewer people. With its pristine beaches and sand dunes, the beach is a popular spot for surfing, snorkelling, sailing and walking. The sand dunes are also a good area for spotting lizards and butterflies in the area.
Reached only by a single track, this remote beach in northern Scotland features aquamarine waters and silky, white sand. The Suilven mountain sits in the backdrop of this beach. Given its distant location, there’s a good chance when you visit you will have the place to yourself.